So way, way back in the day I think I did a bots/FF mastermind, but I haven’t revisited the At since then – and for all I know, with game changes since then even if I could remember much some of what I might know would be out of date.
I have created a Demon/Thermal MM who just hit level 12. My goal is to take the journey from 1 to 50 with her (Lady Lash), enjoying the process and not trying to rush it (though I do use both the P2W XP boost and the XP buff from the SuperPacks).
However, while I am not in a rush, I enjoy the feeling of wielding as effective a character as possible. I love optimized and maximized builds, where the effectiveness of the character is at its height. So my questions are about that: what are the most effective choices for building and playing my Demon/Thermal MM as I level her to 50?
A few background notes about my playstyle. I don’t play a character after they hit 50, instead I am a serial leveler. So abilities that occur at 50, like purple enhancements or Incarnates aren’t relevant to me. I also have several billions of inf, so I can afford anything I need on the market.
I tend to solo, not team. I often either play radio missions (I play blue-side) or one of two council AE missions I created for fun – one filled with solo bosses (and nothing else), the other a large city map filled with large spawns.
Also I tend to respect to refactor my character every so often. I also do this at 12 when I bring in DO’s, and 22 when I bring in IO’s and IO Sets. I’ll also do it when I get a great power I want to fully slot right away – for example, if I turn 26 and get Summon Demon Prince, I might just respect immediately, so I can stuff six slots right into that power – since respeccing does not enforce slot acquisition order.
I don’t think I entirely understand how slotting one’s pet summoning powers affects how one’s pets are enhanced – but I’ll come back to that. With most of my other characters, I often focus on getting insanely high recharge via LOTG’s and Set Enhancements, but an MM doesn’t seem to need to worry about that so much.
In terms of resources to leverage in powering up my MM, I have the aforementioned INF (useful for buying all 3 amplifies on the P2W as well as any set I need on the AH). I have also created a base with every useful feature I could find or think of, including a base buff station that I visit every hour for the recovery rate and recharge rate boosts, not to mention KB protection and sometimes travel speed increases.
So I guess I’ll just start with the questions, if some kind and wise MM master would be willing to spend some time educating me. In no particular order, here we go:
Q: For all my other characters, I made sure to slot the two AT sets right off, at level 12. Are Command of the Mastermind and Mark of Supremacy the best choices I could make to slot up my Demons and Demonlings? Do the procs (well, not really procs, but you know what I mean) in them only apply to that pet, or to ALL my pets; ie: if I put Command of the Mastermind in Summon Demonlings, will the Demonlings, will just the Demonlings get the Defense Aura, or will the Demons get it too?
Q: Again, using Command of the Mastermind in Summon Demonlings as an example, it says (according to Mids/Pine) that it generates bonuses of 66% Accuracy, 97% Damage, 66% End Discount, and 96% Recharge. Does this mean that not only does my summon power cost 66% less end to use and recharges 96% faster, but that my Demonlings once summoned will be 66% more Accurate, 97% more damaging, use 66% less Endurance, and have their powers come back 96% faster?
Q: If Enhancements *do* work that way, wouldn’t procs also works the same way? For example, apparently, I can slot Knockback sets in my Summon Demon T2 power. Couldn’t I put the Explosive Strike Damage Proc in it then? If I did, would the proc check with every attack of my Demon, or only when it used a KB attack?
Q: Wouldn’t it therefore possibly make sense to put an A/D set IO in a MM summon power, followed by two generic DMG IOs, followed by three good procs (or specials)?
Q: On another note (though related), I understand why I want my pets to have accuracy and damage boosts, but do I have to be as concerned about them running out of endurance and slotting EndRdx? If I boost their Recharge by a lot, are they smart enough to use the better attacks as often as possible, or do they just use the same attack chain no matter what?
Q: When I cast Fire Shield on one pet, it seems to put it on all simultaneously. Will the same be true for Plasma Shield, Thaw, and Forge?
Q: Are there any pool powers that would be pretty worth considering for a Demon/Thermal MM? What powers in general would you suggest? I like my three Lash attacks quite a bit.
Q: Are there any skippable powers in the primary or secondary? I was going to skip the Phoenix res and take everything else.
Q: Any special tips on using Hell on Earth to max effectiveness? Is that a good place to mule some of the Defense Auras from the Recharge Intensive sets? (+Def/Res for pets)
Q: Any special tips in general on playing a Demon/Thermal? On running Demon pets?
Q: What Fifth ancillary/epic pool would you recommend and why? Mace Mastery for Power boost?
Q: How would you slot at 12 for best effectiveness? At 22? 35? 45?
Is there any other advice you would give me, apart from the commonly given thought that you don’t *need* to minimax in this game to be effective and defeat standard mission mobs. I already know that. I *want* to design and play for peak effectiveness, because that’s one way in which I enjoy playing this game – a lot.
So, how do I build and play a Demon/Therm MM who will be maximally effective on his way from 12 to retirement at 50?